Jess Dang

Season 2: Jess Dang

Where are you living and working now?

I'm living in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco and working in the big corporate world (still).

What have you been up to since FNS?

Lots of cooking. Lots of eating. Lots of traveling. Last summer I made it back to Paris and Italy for two weeks, with the sole purpose of eating. My itinerary in Paris was literally a six-day food tour. It took some strenuous training beforehand, but it was worth it. I've also made it to NYC a bunch as there is no greater place to dine than the Big Apple.

What was your favorite thing about being on FNS? And your least favorite?

My favorite thing was definitely meeting the people I did. My least favorite was being the first one cut!

Do you keep in touch with other finalists?

Yes, though less and less. It has been four years.

What was the funniest/coolest/weirdest (or worst!) incident to happen behind the scenes?

Oh, dear, it's been awhile but I'm sure the source of all of the above was Guy.

How did being on FNS affect your culinary career?

It made me really understand how difficult it is to have a successful culinary career and really respect those who have made it.

What advice would you offer the next round of finalists?

Don't bite off more than you can chew each challenge. Keep it simple and do what you know. The time goes by fast.

When you look back, what would you have done differently?

I would have cooked that meat!

Do people recognize you from being on the show?

Like I said before, it's been awhile so it's rare when I get recognized. I'm okay with that.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time on FNS?

Nothing great comes easy.

What's your current favorite recipe or signature dish?

I've been putting this sun-dried tomato pesto-paste with parsley and mint on all my meats. It's delicious! The recipe is at

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